Draymond Green is back, and the Warriors are playing better than they have yet this young season.
Green has long been viewed as a vital piece to the team's ability to move quickly and efficiently on offense, as well as the team captain and key piece on defense. Some had worried that Green had lost some of his ferocious passion for the game, or could not affect the Warriors' fortunes like in the past.
It has only been three games, but so far the results are showing that those concerns could not be further from the truth.
"It's been pretty impressive the quick impact he has had on the Warriors," Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said on the latest episode of the Dubs Talk podcast.
Green's statistics do not show the whole story. He is only averaging two points per game, and shooting 12.5 percent from the field. And yet, as Green gets his conditioning up and catches his wind, in just 22 minutes per game, he also is averaging four rebounds, almost six assists and over one steal per contest.
"A lot of people say it to be nice 'oh, he can impact a game without scoring,' but Draymond truly can," Mullin explained.
As Green becomes familiar with his teammates and forms chemistry on both sides of the court, it is easy to see the impact he is making each game. The offense is flowing better than it has been and the defense is more locked in and connected as a unit. Meanwhile, Steph Curry has broken out and regained his MVP form, which is not a fluke in that it coincides with Green's return.
Green also has become a major influence on rookie James Wiseman, and has taken it upon himself to instruct and teach the young big man the ins and outs of the NBA game. It is clear Green has accepted the role of on-court coach for the team.
To Mullin, Green has an impact on the team that resembles one of the all-time greats.
"He has a Magic Johnson type effect on the game," Mullin explained, "with his demonstrative energy, and his skills are very unique defensively, and offensively, being a point forward and organizing the team."
With the Warriors in the midst of a treacherous stretch of challenging opponents, the return of Green could not have come at a better time.